nintendo switch showcase

Nintendo Switch: modular console shown with £279 price tag and UK release date

Nintendo has demonstrated the capabilities of its new console, dubbed Switch, which targets both portable and home markets.

It is set to go on sale in the UK on 3 March for £279 and features an adaptable design allowing for greater portability than its rivals.

First revealed at the end of 2016, the Switch is Nintendo's first home video games console since the Wii U. 

At heart, Switch is a tablet-esque device that slots into a dock that both charges it and connects it to a larger screen, such as a television. The 6.2 inch screen on the tablet section of the device has capacitative touch functionality at 720p resolution.

The relatively traditional looking controller has two detachable “Joy-Cons” that can be attached to the sides of the tablet allowing it to be played on-the-go. The two Joy-Cons can also be used independently to allow for multiplayer functionality.

They contain a variety of sensors and accelerometers in order to allow them similar functionality to the controllers found on Nintendo’s previous console, the Wii.

The right Joy-Con also contains an AR camera that can sense how far the users hand is from it and how many fingers they are holding up, along with other capabilities.

It also has an NFC writer/reader to allow it to communicate with other peripherals that Nintendo may introduce in the future. It was demonstrated as  being compatible with “amiibo” figures.

The left joy-con has a share button that allows for screenshots to be taken and shared on social media. Nintendo said that video recording functionality will also be added for sharing in the future.

Both controllers contain “HD Rumble” functionality that can accurately simulate different physical sensations. At the launch event, Nintendo demonstrated the functionality by showing how it can replicate the feel of a glass containing ice cubes in the hand (watch the video below for more details).

Battery life for the console is rated at anywhere between three and six hours depending on the game being played and is charged over a non-proprietary USB type-C port. It also has an expandable memory slot that accepts micro-SDXC cards.

The next instalment in the popular Legend Of Zelda series, Breath Of The Wild, was also revealed as a launch title for the system, as was Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Odyssey that shows Mario navigating a more realistic game world than in previous titles.

Nintendo also said third-party games including EA Sports' Fifa and world-builder Minecraft would also be available on the system.

Nintendo president said Tatsumi Kimishima: "Nintendo Switch is a brand-new kind of home gaming system that offers a wide variety of play modes.

"We will introduce the world to new experiences made possible by the unique characteristics of the Nintendo Switch hardware and the Joy-Con."

The modular controller has the ability to split into two and each be used by one player to create a local multi-player set-up, with the mobile screen used by both players.

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